Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding

chocolate-bread-pudding

During a recent visit to the King Arthur Flour bakery in Vermont I purchased a loaf of challah, fully intending to pull pieces off of it for the next several hours and devour most of the loaf that way. Isn’t that the best way to eat fresh bread? Sadly, I ended up getting distracted and by the time I got back to my loaf it was partly stale and didn’t lend itself well to nibbling on.

However, stale bread is still good for plenty of things– not least of which is bread pudding. Not just any bread pudding– chocolate bread pudding. DARK chocolate bread pudding, which makes it that much more decadent. I pulled this recipe from King Arthur Flour’s own website and have been eating the results for breakfast for the past week. Superb.

Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding (from King Arthur Flour)

  • 6 1/2 cups bread cubes from a 1-lb loaf of challah or brioche
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate, chopped or in chips
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 3 cups milk or half & half
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. In a lightly buttered 9×13″ pan, combine bread cubes with 1 cup of the chopped chocolate.

2. In a small saucepan, combine remaining chocolate with sugar, cocoa, and 1 1/2 cups of the milk or half and half. Cook over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

choc-BP-melt

3. Remove from heat and add remaining dairy. Then whisk in eggs, salt, and vanilla.

4. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes and let it soak in for about 30 minutes.

choc-BP-soak

5. In the meantime, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

6. When the custard has soaked in, bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

 

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

blueberry-bkfst-cake

With many more blueberries to use up, I turned to a recipe that came up in my Facebook feed from King Arthur Flour– blueberry breakfast cake. A one-bowl recipe that promised to be easy and delicious, it was reviewed as being almost like a cheesecake in texture, allowing the blueberries to shine through. I’m always looking for excuses to eat cake for breakfast, so I decided to give it a try.

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Almost No-Knead Baguettes

no knead baguetteAfter my Cordon Bleu bread-baking course, you’d think I’d be a baguette snob– insisting on fresh yeast, hand-kneading, and traditional techniques– but my inherent laziness always wins the day when it comes to things like this. So when I decided to host a dinner party where baguettes were on the menu I split the difference between store-bought and traditionally made, trying out a recipe from King Arthur Flour that’s practically no-knead and does most of its rising in the refrigerator.

The results? Decent, but not fabulous. It might have been my own fault, since I have the sneaking suspicion I might have let the loaves rise too much before baking, and I didn’t have a spray bottle to spritz the crusts with water before putting them in the oven. But I did put a pan of boiling water on the bottom rack to create steam, so that should’ve helped. The bread itself was well-flavored and the texture was decent inside, but the crust was overly thick– probably the spritzing issue– and the loaf was pretty flat, not rounded and high the way I’d have wanted it to be. Still, it was tasty bread for a lot less effort than the hand-kneaded ones I made at Le Cordon Bleu, so I’m counting it in the win column.

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